So just how do you get married in Gibraltar?
Gibraltar is a spit of land off mainland Spain. It is not an island. You can walk or drive across the border very easily. Once you are there, very bizarrely you are surrounded by all things British.
In fact Gibraltar is still a British Overseas Territory, making it really easy for couples wanting a Wedding Ceremony in Spain to also legally contract their marriage which is recognised under British law.
So here is all the info you need to Contract your Marriage in Gibraltar (do the legal bit) then Celebrate your Wedding in Spain (the fun bit where the memories are made).
You will just need to factor in an overnight stop on Gibraltar and bring the correct documents….. read on!
The Gibraltan Civil Status and Registration Office is very happy to correspond with you by email to organise your paperwork to get married or to contract your Civil Partnership.
Documents you need to get married on Gibraltar
The documents you will need to get married in Gibraltar are listed in the Marriages and Civil Partnerships Guidance Notes and Booking Form which you can download for free here
You will need to prove your residency, your civil status (single, divorced etc) and any previous names, so documents you are likely to be asked for include: passports; birth or adoption certificates and previous marriage or civil partnership certificates.
If arranging your marriage by email, save a copy of all of your documents in PDF format and send them to the register office in Gibraltar in ONE email with your completed Booking Form (see link above).
The register office will then offer you an appointment for your ceremony. Doddle!
If any documents are not in English, they will need to be translated by one of the official translators on Gibraltar.
I have found Karl H Grambow, Commissioner for Oaths, to be particularly helpful and offers free advice by email
When you have your appointment to get married in Gibraltar
A few things to remember when you have your appointment to contract your marriage in Gibraltar:
– Take your ORIGINAL documents with you, not the PDFs!
– You must present your documents to the registrar by no earlier than 3 months before your appointed date and by no later than 10:30h of the working day before the ceremony.
– You must present proof of your overnight stay in Gibraltar
– You will need two witnesses
– You will need affidavits to obtain the Special Marriage Licence (contact Karl H Grambow above, his office is just two minutes on foot from the register office)
Getting to Gibraltar
Getting to Gibraltar from Malaga international airport or any main town on the Costa del Sol is easily done by bus…. or at least you can take a bus to the Spanish side, known as La Linea.
Alternatively, you can fly direct to Gibraltar.
Getting to Gibraltar by car is easy too. Drive as close as you can to the border and park at Parking Santa Barbara then just walk over the border.
Once on the Gibraltan side you can take a bus or a taxi to the town centre. A taxi currently costs you about five GBP at time of writing.
Top tip: remember the currency is pounds not euros BUT whilst you can spend your British coinage, Gibraltan coins are NOT legal tender back in the UK!
You can drive over the border in your car too – but avoid peak times to avoid long queues. Whilst there are a number of public car parks, parking can be limited during the height of summer and at national holidays.
Top tip: even though you are technically on British soil, you drive on the right in Gibraltar!
Staying on Gibraltar
“Visit Gibraltar” is the national tourist office. Click here to link to their web site with suggestions of what to do and where to stay on The Rock. Remember that you need to produce evidence of at least one night’s stay before you can contract your marriage or civil partnership. The Bristol Hotel is probably the nearest to the register office itself.
Contract your Marriage then Celebrate your Wedding
Congratulations! Now you have contracted your marriage or civil partnership on Gibraltar you can truly enjoy making memories with your perfect Wedding Ceremony back on the Spanish mainland in the Andalucian sunshine!
Contact me to craft your symbolic Wedding, Elopement or Civil Partnership ceremony in the location of your dreams with the wording written especially for you. I am Debbie Skyrme. I am Celebrant Spain. I only ever celebrate one wedding…. yours!